Volodymyr Zelensky has said he is “very happy” that Boris Johnson is still Prime Minister after he survived a confidence vote.

The Ukrainian president called Mr Johnson a “true friend of Ukraine” as he spoke over video link at an online event hosted by the Financial Times on Tuesday morning.

Mr Zelensky told the newspaper: “I am very happy about this. Boris Johnson is a true friend of Ukraine.

“I regard him as our ally, and Great Britain as a great ally.”

Speaking through a translator, Mr Zelensky also said: “Boris is supporting us. Boris is very concrete in supporting Ukraine.

“I do not know who was responsible for this decision yesterday but I’m glad we have not lost a very important ally. This is great news. That is all I can say.”

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “The Prime Minister enjoys a very close relationship with President Zelensky.

“He believes it is vital to how the UK is able to adapt and support Ukraine in this fast-moving situation.”

The relationship “benefits both the Ukrainian people in being able to be responsive to the support they need but also to ensure the UK is at the forefront of providing that support”.

In a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Mr Johnson reiterated the UK’s support for Ukraine.

He also said it was vital that Mr Zelensky was not pressured into accepting a bad peace and that the world must avoid any outcome where Russian President Vladimir Putin’s aggression appears to have paid off.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss told ministers that Ukrainians had achieved some recent success but Russia was also making slow advances.

Ms Truss said the UK would continue its support with further sanctions in the pipeline.

It comes as Mr Johnson’s leadership was wounded on Monday evening when he survived a confidence vote but 148 Conservative MPs still voted against him.

Ahead of the confidence vote on Monday, the Prime Minister shared a picture of himself on the phone to Mr Zelensky.

“President (Zelensky) just updated me on the ongoing battle against Russian aggression in the Donbas,” Mr Johnson tweeted.

“It’s clear the Ukrainian people will not bow to Russian brutality. We’re unwavering in our mission of ensuring Ukraine is defended and supported for the long-term.”

In another tweet, he also posted about rocket launchers being sent to Ukraine.

The Prime Minister later told MPs on the 1922 Committee that it was the wrong time for “unforced domestic political drama”.

Mr Johnson told the private meeting: “I humbly submit to you that this is not the moment for a leisurely and entirely unforced domestic political drama and months and months of vacillation from the UK.”

At a time when Mr Putin’s forces are fighting in Ukraine, the Prime Minister said: “This is the moment for us to lift our gaze from our navel.”